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Fighting Change – Because Status Quo is Sexy.

Is the Status Quo really that sexy? Enter Demand Driven methodology.

Why do we sometimes appear to have a love affair with the way things have always been? Or at least with the way things are now. How many times have we simply accepted the status quo?

What determines whether we embrace the change or hold on to the status quo? Our lives are filled with examples of embracing change. We get married, have children, adopt a pet, buy a house, go away to school, change jobs. The list is long.

But there are also things that we put up with, even though a solution exists. And there are things that we accept as unchangeable no matter how frustrating it is.

Here’s my challenge question to you. What do we use in our lives that hasn’t appreciably changed in 20 to 50 years? And how much duct tape or band-aids have we applied so we can keep using the same old items or methods?

An exceptional case is when we know that what we are doing or the tool we are using isn’t working or isn’t working well without serious intervention.

Consider Traditional MRP. Traditional MRP has been around for years. 50 or 60 to be more accurate. Yes, there have been some adaptations, but the core math and core concepts remain unchanged.

Yet, the pace of disruption in our environment means that traditional MRP is less and less able to successfully achieve its goals. The assumptions that made MRP so powerful are no longer valid.

Enter DDMRP. With four innovations and the overall application of the methodology, the shortcomings of MRP are addressed. Lean, Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints is incorporated and improved upon.

The starting point is education on the Demand Driven methodology. Not a significant investment in software or a rip and replace before you’ve really understood it. Learn about DDMRP, then run a pilot program, then determine the value expected if you do add software. Now you can make an informed decision.

Consider Sales and Operations Planning. How many of you are still trying to get your colleagues to achieve a better forecast and really use S&OP as a communication tool across departments? Better than nothing, I agree. But in our efforts to improve visibility, do we even understand what visibility we should be trying to improve? S&OP should be about connecting Strategic Information and Decisions to the Operational Activities and Priorities.

Enter Demand Driven Sales and Operations Planning. We start with operational performance (How are we doing?). Then we move to how can we improve or exploit our capability. And we talk about the impact of our decisions on our colleagues. And we highlight our strategic decisions for which we must prepare using the tools of the Demand Driven Methodology.

Perhaps the point of contention is that you must unlearn something that you’ve been struggling with for years. Maybe the issue is admitting defeat when it feels like you’re so close to the solution. Well, these will both need to be faced. Many of us have already seen the solution and now we can’t just un-see it. It’s time to Become Demand Driven.

John Melbye, DDPP, DDLP, CSCP

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